Top 10 Best Dog Shampoos

Bathing a dog can be onerous–or it can be an enjoyable bonding time with your dog.

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To make bath time as pleasant as possible, you’ll want the best dog shampoos on the market. 

We’ve reviewed the ratings of the top pet shampoo and conditioner products, and the results are shared here.

Best Puppy Shampoo 

Crazy Dog Baby Dog Baby Powder Scented Dog and Puppy Shampoo

You can use this on your puppy without fear of making his coat too dry. It comes in a gallon container as well as smaller 12 and 16-oz bottles, making it great for breeders. It is great for puppies and can continue to be used as the dog grows.  It’s baby powder scented and gets great reviews.

Best Dog Shampoos for Sensitive Skin

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo

With hundreds of thumbs up from happy dog owners, this shampoo is gentle enough for felines and is available with an after-shampoo conditioner with the same name. It’s scented with vanilla and almond. This shampoo is soap-free and is designed specifically for itchy and dry skin. If your dog scratches himself, this is an excellent choice for moisturizing his skin. You may notice less scratching, allowing the skin an opportunity to heal. The 16-ounce bottle is very reasonably priced, too. Plus, it’s got a 100% biodegradable formula that is paraben and phosphate-free.

Best Pick for Gentleness

ProPet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Some dogs have allergies that react unfavorably to all but the most gentle shampoos. This shampoo is a winner for what it doesn’t have; it’s free of sulfate, alcohol, fragrance, and added colors.

Best Waterless Dog Shampoo

Miracle Care Spray-On Waterless Shampoo

Another crossover shampoo–used by horse lovers as well as dog lovers–this shampoo takes first prize for not having to struggle with a soaking wet dog. As a dry shampoo for dogs, it is perfect for a clean-up during the winter when it’s too cold to bathe your dog outside. It has a non-irritating formula that cleans with no rinsing required and offers deep cleaning and stain removal while it moisturizes. It also detangles hair for easy combing.

Best Affordable Dog Shampoo

Lambert Kay Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Shampoo

This shampoo retails for under $5. Users love the scent, and it’s suitable for all breeds. The company that makes it has been around for years, and groomers often use the shampoo for its over-all superior performance.

Best Flea and Tick Shampoo

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor

This hard-working flea and tick shampoo come in 12-oz, 24-oz, and 1-gallon sizes. Safe enough for cats, this shampoo is enriched with soothing oatmeal, lanolin, coconut extract, and aloe. The result is a botanical formula that effectively keeps your pet pest-free for up to 28 days and delivers a shiny coat. It’s suitable for dogs with sensitive skin and puppies 12 weeks and over.

Best Shampoo and Conditioner All-In-One 

Wahl Four In One Lavender Chamomile Pet Shampoo and Conditioner

People turn to this easy shampoo plus condition for the great lavender scent and to shampoo their dogs after shedding. The lavender can help with a dog’s anxiety over being bathed. Plus, this is a very affordable product that can last and last.

Best Medicated Shampoos

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo

This over-the-counter medicated formula provides an antiseptic lathering solution with specific moisturizing ingredients, including chlorhexidine, phytosphingosine, and climbazole. It gets rave reviews for use on dogs with a variety of both superficial and severe skin conditions. The formula helps control bacteria and fungi growth, as well as helping to control seborrhea, itching, and inflammation.

Best Shampoo for Controlling Itching and Allergies

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

This is another shampoo for dogs that makes use of oatmeal to calm skin and adds tea tree oil, aloe, lavender, and panthenol (vitamin b5) to alleviate allergies irritation and sensitivity. It can be used frequently and doesn’t dry the skin. 

Best Shampoo for Controlling Shedding

FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo, 16 oz

This shampoo gets high marks for reducing shedding and helps to encourage healthy skin and coat. Some of the ingredients include Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, calendula extract, and papaya leaf extract, and it’s also good for what it doesn’t contain, which are parabens and chemical dyes.

How Often Can You Bathe Your Dog?

Some people use a rule of thumb to bathe a dog with normal skin once a month with dog shampoo. But puppies shouldn’t be bathed until they are a month old, or better yet, wait until they are 6-8 weeks old. If you’d like more information about how to wash your dog, visit the Canine Journal.

Bath Time by Breed and Coat Type

  • Poodles and other dogs with curly coats may require frequent baths. It’s recommended that they get bathed at least every two months, which can coincide with a coat trimming by a stylist. 
  • Dogs with an oily coat, like Basset Hounds and Newfoundlands, may do well with frequent bathing, even once a week.
  • Some dogs like Corgis have very dense coats. It’s important to dilute the shampoo before applying it and make sure to rinse, rinse, and rinse again to make sure all traces of the shampoo are gone.
  • Determine if your dog’s coat is double or single coated. Double-coated breeds, such as the German shepherd, can be bathed a couple of times a year, after their bi-annual shedding. Smooth-coated dogs like Rottweilers, bulldogs, dalmatians, pugs, for example, may need a bath only once a year unless they roll in something noxious or otherwise get dirty. 

Breeds that are commonly affected by seborrhea may also require frequent bathing. They include:

  • German shepherds
  • Cocker spaniels
  • Golden retrievers
  • Dachshunds
  • West Highland terriers
  • Labradors
  • Doberman pinschers 
  • Shar-peis

If you have questions about how often to bathe your dog, the best source of an answer is probably your veterinarian. He or she is familiar with different breeds and can assess your particular pooch’s coat and bathing needs during your dog’s regular exam.  

General Tips

When buying a shampoo for your best friend, read the reviews and ingredients. You want to avoid harsh chemicals or additives. You may need to do some trial and error to find the best shampoo for your dog. Finally, avoid taking a shortcut and using shampoos for people. For additional shampooing tips for dogs, visit Cesar’s Way.

Hong L.

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